Back! A Short But Worthy Monday Morning Run

Just like I promised myself, on Monday morning, after a day of rest, I ran. I didn’t run fast, or pretty, or far. In fact, quite the contrary, I ran slow (leisurely), ugly (though I liked my leggings), and close to home – to the 59th street lookout that shoots off Sutton Place to be exact. This is what it looked like to my left.

And to my right.

On mornings, when I have time for a lengthy workout but I’m not exactly in the right shape for a long run, this is one of my favorite places to go. It’s just about 1.5 miles from my apartment in midtown, and I use this amazing space with a view of the East River and Queensborough Bridge to stretch my legs, my hips, my back. I also use it to do squats, lunges, push-ups, tricep dips and other plyometric exercises.

Once I’m good and ready, I put my pink bedazzled headphones back on, and run the 1.5 miles home, whizzing by the illustrious U.N. building…

…to log a total of 3 short but oh-so-sweet miles. Plus, I didn’t skimp on the amount of time I exercised for, which makes me feel really good before heading to the office, where I sit for upwards of eight hours at a time.

This morning was really beautiful. 39 degrees, sunny, no breeze. To top it all off, I wore my 2012 Manhattan Half Marathon long sleeve shirt (beneath a thick purple Nike hoodie; I’m not one of those runners who heats up quickly in the winter). Putting it on made me feel like a real runner, though I’m really not sure why I don’t truly feel as though I fit into this category still.

Maybe it’s because I don’t own a Garmin; because I’ve only racked up a few races; because I estimate my mileage rather than measuring it to the nearest hundredth of a step. (Prior to this last half, to train, I ran somewhere between 10 and 11 miles according to my estimation – which I figured was good enough.)

I just can’t get myself to slap a pace, time or distance on something I love so much for the freedom it gives me. But that’s just me. I still haven’t quite figured out what to make of it yet. Maybe you can help me.

On another totally unrelated note, I’ve discovered the greatest jeans in the world. Which is weird, because I usually just slip into Uniqlo leggings every morning (the joys of working at a start-up). These Adriano Goldschmied gray skinnies will change your life. Seriously, I may as well have been wearing leggings. If I could afford them in every color, I would buy them. But I cannot. (The perils of working at a start-up.) I could barely afford to buy one pair, but I ripped my jeans straight down the rump last week while sitting cross-legged at my desk. That’s embarrassing.

And then, after a long but comfortably dressed day in the office, I came home to these.

I didn’t have a crystal vase lying around, so I cut the top off of a seltzer bottle and stuck ’em right in. Yea, things are going OK. Happy first half of the week.

Benched: Taking the Day Off for Rest (and Food)

It’s neverΒ easy to take a day off from running. Years ago, when I was running between three and five miles at a time, “rest” days weren’t even a part of my vocabulary. But over the past year, as my weekly milage has increased – and consequently, my injuries have increased – so have the number of days that I have to take off.

OK, so I could have spent Sunday doing yoga, strength training or partaking in some other form of physical activity. But instead, I took the opportunity to give my entire body a break. (Not my digestive system; that was hard at work breaking down a delicious brunch andΒ lots of chocolate with my dad…

…and a healthy dinner of salad, spinach and shrimp salad, and a less healthy but completely worth it piece of three-berry pie with Noah.)

Last summer, right before I signed up for the Queens half marathon, I suffered the wrath of a faulty piriformis muscle.

I ignored it for quite some time, and ultimately, the pain benched me for a solid month while training for the race. I have no other way to describe it than this: It totally sucked. Not running made me crazy, and I started to hate all the happy runners out there just soaking in the summer sun. (Sorry, it was runner’s envy.)

So yea, if it means talking myself out of a jog – even on a beautiful 47 degree Sunday in January – so be it. Because by holding out for one day – a mere 24 hours – I can hope to run strong for the next five. And that’s exactly what I plan to do. Starting today. Here goes nothing.